Weight: 40-66 pounds
Head/Body: 36-42 inches
Tail: 30-36 inches
The clouded leopard is a slim, well
proportioned, medium-sized cat. Its coat varies from pale brown to rich
brown with large irregular blotches, said by the Chinese to resemble the
shape of mint leaves (hence the name mint leopard in China). Its head is
banded, with small, round, black ears with a central grey spot. Its
underparts are pale or white, and its tail is ringed in black.
leopard may be found in the dense forest and scrub of southern and
southeastern Asia, where it hunts by night or day, from trees, dropping
silently down onto its prey, and seeks medium-sized game of all types.
Completely at home in the trees, this cat is one of the best climbers --
the margay is arguably better, but is nowhere near the same size -- and
can run up and down a tree like a huge squirrel. Some zoologists classify
the clouded leopard as a lesser cat, sticking with the genus Neofelis,
as its hyoid bones are intermediate between the two extremes: it can only
roar softly. Most zoologists, however, place it in the genus Panthera,
and classify it as a greater cat.